Chicken And Mushroom Pasta In A Heavy Cream Sauce

Servings: 6-8

What You Need:

1 12oz bag of wide egg noodles

4 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1/2 cup chopped white onion

1-2 teaspoons of garlic (fresh or jar)

1 small package of mushrooms

3/4 cup of chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and pepper for taste

2 cups of sharp white cheddar cheese shredded

2 cups chopped chicken or 1 rotisserie chicken shredded

Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish (optional)

Steps:

1. Boil a medium to large pot of water. When water is boiling add a few dashes of salt and then cook pasta according to directions. Reserving 3/4 cup of pasta water.Set aside when done.

2. In a large skillet melt butter and sauté onion and garlic until tender.

3. Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until cooked and tender.

4. Add chicken stock, heavy cream, cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Mix until smooth and cheese is completely melted.

5. Stir in the chicken and pasta in the sauce and add the pasta water. Turn off heat and mix well, allowing to sit for little for sauce to thicken.

6. Serve with a salad and garlic bread.

Enjoy!

**** This taste amazing the next day too! ****

Easy Alfredo Sauce

This Alfredo sauce is so yummy! Enjoy!

What You Need:

2 cups of Parmesan Cheese

1 (8 tablespoons) stick of unsalted butter

1 cup of heavy cream (8oz)

A few dashes of salt and pepper

1 teaspoon of fresh parsley finely chopped and a little extra chopped for garnish

Steps:

1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat, once butter is melted add heavy cream. Allow to simmer while mixing for 2 minutes seasoning with salt and pepper.

2. Add Parmesan cheese and parsley. Add a few dashes of milk or pasta water to thin sauce out a little. Allow to cook and very low heat until ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Soften The Heart: Devotional #10

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content”

Philippians 4:11

If we define the word worry, it reads; “give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” Think about that for just a moment. When we can’t control something, it causes us stress and anxiety. It leads us down the path of worrying where we end up in a field filled with fear.

How often do you worry? Many times I’m sure. About all sorts of things, right? We worry about the future, we worry about our children, we worry about bills being paid, we worry about our health, we worry about our family, we worry about many, many things.

We all worry. What you should know though is worrying is natural human survival instinct. Ultimately we worry to protect us from harm. Maybe you’re thinking, “how is worrying about my family protecting me? I’m worry about them.” Yes, that is true, however you worry to protect yourself from feeling pain. If something happens to someone in your family, you know you would suffer too. And who wants to suffer? Again, we worry to protect us. *Humans are pretty selfish, we think about ourselves a lot.*

Now worrying and living in fear is giving in to a very powerful force. Too many times we allow these emotions to completely control us and prevent us from truly living and feeling joy in our hearts. This also prevents our relationship with God from growing. Why? Because we aren’t trusting God. We aren’t trusting the creator of the entire universe. You’re not alone my friend, and you’re not on your own.

We have to lean in, we have to surrender, and we have to trust our Heavenly Father. He knows way more than we do. But, like a three year old, we are stubborn children. We want to do things on our own. Like children, we don’t want help. We don’t want to believe our Heavenly Father knows more than we do. Maybe we aren’t children, we kinda sound more like teenagers.

The spirit within us is like a muscle. As we strengthen our spirit muscle, it becomes stronger. The seed of love that God planted in all of us becomes stronger. God is love my friends. But we gotta water that seed! And we have to water others! As we continue to work on your relationship with God we become stronger than the flesh, we become stronger than those feelings and emotions that act like a wall preventing us from living in peace and harmony.

When we continue to seek God, the walls of fear and worry begin to crumble and dissolve like a soaked cookie in milk. We begin to feel peace within ourselves.

No matter what state we are in we aren’t worried or in fear because we know God loves us. We know no matter what, it’s going to be okay. We begin to understand God is in us, he surrounds us, he is reaching out and rescuing us.

But to be in that state, we have to reach our hand out. Gods hand is already present, we are the ones holding back. And once we grab ahold of the hand of God no matter what happens you’ll know in your heart God has got this. No matter what you know in the end Gods going to make everything right. God loves you. He loves you, He loves you, He loves you.

God bless

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream Cheese Frosting

This amount of frosting is good for 24 cupcakes or a 9×13 size cake. There may be a little extra just to eat! Yum!

What You Need:

1 8oz pack of cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup (1stick) of unsalted butter (softened)

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

A small squeeze of a lemon (optional)

Steps:

1. Combine all ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl except for the lemon. Mix well until smooth and creamy.

2. Now take the lemon and squeeze just a little bit of lemon juice to give the frosting a sweet tangy taste. Mix well. Taste, and add more if needed.

3. Spread on cupcakes, muffins, breads, whatever your little heart desires.

Note: store any left over frosting in the fridge. Frosting is good for 3-5 days.

If it’s looking like this picture below the cream cheese or butter may not have been softened enough. No worries though! Just let the frosting sit out for a bit. Then mix again with an electric mixture.

A little lumpy, I knew the butter wasn’t soft enough!

I let it sit out and then we re-mixed it. Smooth and creamy, just what we wanted!

Enjoy my precious gems!

Maple And Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Makes between 20 to 25 cookies (depending on desired size)

Bake at 350 for 8 to 10mins (oven time may vary)

What You Need:

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 full stick of softened unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)

2 cups of rolled oats

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used dark, but you can use semisweet too)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps:

1. In a medium size bowl mix together oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour.

2. In a large bowl beat with an electric mixer the brown sugar, the stick of butter, and granulated sugar until combined. Beat in egg. Then beat in maple syrup and vanilla extract. Once it’s all combined begin beating in the flour mixture. (Can use hands when it begins getting thicker)

4. Once mixture is set add chocolate chips and mix well. (If you have kids this is fun for them to mix with their hands)

5. Place generous dollops of oatmeal batter onto parchment paper. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 mins.

Note: when taking the cookies out of the oven beat the tray on the counter a few times to enhance a chewy soft texture. So yummy. It needs to be done RIGHT AWAY once pulled out.

ALSO, I personally bake one tray at a time on the high rack. This recipe made about 3 trays for me.

When placing on cookie sheet keep in mind they don’t need to be perfect. Glob it up!
Fresh from the oven. I really feel beating them on the counter makes the difference. Let me know how it works for you! Do it once you pull them out!
Crispy AND chewy. Not overly sweet either! Enjoy with a glass of milk and share with friends.

Enjoy!

Breakfast Zucchini Bread

This bread is easy to make and super tasty. A yummy quick breakfast treat, but hey, if you want to have this for lunch or dinner I won’t judge!

Is best served warmed up with unsalted butter! Enjoy!

Breakfast Zucchini Bread

(This is called ‘Breakfast Zucchini Bread’ because it’s best to make in the evening and allow to sit overnight.)

Makes one small 8 x 4 loaf

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

What You Need:

1 large zucchini or 2 small ones finely shredded

1 beaten egg

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon plus a sprinkle of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of vegetable oil

Steps:

1. In one small bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and baking soda.

2. In a separate medium/large size bowl mix the beaten egg, sugar, vegetable oil, and shredded zucchini with an electric mixer.

3. Begin adding the dry ingredients (the flour and spices) to the wet ingredients (the egg and oil) slowly till batter is consistent.

4. Generously butter up the loaf pan and pour batter into pan. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

5. When bread is complete, allow to cool completely. Cover and let it sit overnight.

And then, enjoy for breakfast!

Mix all the dry ingredients in separate bowl.
Then, mix your wet ingredients.
Combine flour mixture and zucchini mixture together and bake at 350.

7 Tips For Taking Your Newborn On A Beachy Getaway

 

This past weekend was Labor Day weekend and we went to Puerto Peñasco Mexico with our two toddlers and our 5 week old baby. Are we a little crazy, maybe some would say…. but we made some amazing memories!

We had an absolute blast, and I am so happy we went!

To be completely honest I was very hesitant about taking our newborn on a trip so soon. If my husband would have changed his mind I would have been completely okay with it.

However we had been planning this trip and we had people that were coming and meeting us there. So we really did want to go!

Me being the worry wart that I am, I actually called her pediatrician asking for precautions to take when traveling with a baby and safety measures at the beach. Well, they told me they don’t recommend doing anything like that until they are two months and have had their shots. Not really what I wanted to hear, but I kind of expected it.

When I told my husband what their pediatrician said his reply was, “babies are born in Mexico all the time.” Uhh ok.

This just goes to show who’s the more cautious parent in this relationship.

Well we ended up going, obviously.

We traveled to Mexico in our RV and from where we live it’s only about a 3 to 4 hour drive. So it’s really not too bad.

(What’s great about a newborn is they sleep so much! Our daughter pretty much slept this whole trip! Saturday to Sunday. She is a dream, and did better then expected. )

I am going to share some tips that worked for me and hopefully they work for you too IF you do decide to take a mini trip somewhere with a beach and your precious newborn.



7 Tips For Taking Your Newborn On A Beachy Getaway

1. Take Help With You

My mom went along on this trip and I can’t imagine how the trip would have been had she not come! She was so helpful! I was able to spend uninterrupted quality time with my other two daughters and enjoy the ocean with them. When my newborn was nursing or keeping me busy she would be with my other two daughters catering to their needs. My husband and I weren’t stressed at all because of the help! His dad and friend were there too and when they say it takes a village, they aren’t lying! Whoever they are!

You will enjoy your trip so much more if you have helping hands.

2. A Hand Held Misting Fan Is A NECESSITY

The times we were sitting on the beach under the umbrella I always had a misting fan at reach. It was a fantastic, and a very convenient way to stay cool for my baby and myself since we didn’t really get in the water. It was super humid so this is so helpful.

Do not forget a misting fan!

3. Co-sleep With A Pack N’ Play Mat

With being in an RV, I really didn’t want to pack the whole pack n’ play because you know how big they are and there wouldn’t really be any space in the RV for it. If you’re staying in a resort I would just bring the whole thing probably, but for us the mat was good enough.

I slept in the back with our baby with just the pack n’ play mat on the bed. I felt safe because she wasn’t sleeping on the soft mattress (it’s not advised to let your newborn sleep on a soft mattress due to SIDS) and I felt it was secure enough where I knew I wouldn’t roll on her. The bed was a queen bed and between two closets. It was the perfect way to co sleep and nurse her at night.

4. Keep Your Baby Covered When In The Sun

Newborns can’t wear sunblock so you really what to limit as much sun exposure as possible. A little sun isn’t going to hurt, but you really don’t want them exposed to direct sunlight for more then a few minutes.

When I would walk from the RV to the beach I always had a blanket over her, like a small receiving blanket. And when we were outside we were always in the shade.

5. Know Where The Local Hospitals Are

This is safety precaution to take for your peace of mind. IF, something did happen you want to know where the local hospitals are. You are taking your newborn so it’s best to be as safe as possible when traveling with a newborn.

6. Trust your Instincts And Know Your Limits

If you feel baby is getting too hot go inside. If you feel that would be too much for the baby then don’t do it. If you don’t want to take your baby there, then don’t go. (When I say there, I mean like a restaurant, shops, wherever) Don’t feel pressured. Trust that you know what is best for your baby.

7. Take Pictures And Just Have Fun!

Do your best to just enjoy yourself! Don’t let your worries consume you! You’re an amazing mama and you know your baby! So, again, trust YOURSELF and make memories!

(I only took her out to beach in the mornings and in the late afternoons. It wasn’t too hot during those times and the rays aren’t as strong.)

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Start Everyday Off Right With These 5 Simple Morning Habits

Our mornings are what set the day for success, they set the pace for positive results, and they set our mood for optimism. Have you ever heard the quote, “Win the morning, win the day.” By Entrepreneur Tim Ferriss.

It makes a difference when things are running smoothly versus getting a late start and then constantly feeling rushed.

When we can win the morning we are setting ourselves up for productivity. You are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment through out your day when you have a great morning

Think for a quick moment, what do your mornings look like? How are you shaping them daily.

Would you describe the start of your day as relatively consistent or a tad sporadic? I guess it kind of depends if you went out for margaritas the night prior or not. But on a daily basis what’s your routine look like?

If you don’t have a morning routine I highly encourage you to develop a morning routine. Don’t feel bad if you have difficulty sticking to your routine, the important thing is to have one in place and to work towards the good habits daily.

It can be super easy to get distracted but don’t let that stop you from getting these morning rituals done.

To be honest sometimes I have difficulty sticking to this routine because my children are my huge distraction but if I can cross off at least 3 of these things every morning I typically feel pretty good!

Now if you feel your morning is consistent, what is it that you do every morning and do you feel like it’s helping with your personal growth in some way?

And who doesn’t want to start their day with a positive attitude and in a positive mood every day!

It took me some time to develop a morning routine. But I’ve found when I’m consistent in all 5 of these habits my mornings are better then ever! A great kick start to the day and feeling motivated to get stuff done.

Here is what I do just about every morning!



Start Off Everyday With These 5 Simple Morning Habits

1. Stretch

One of the first things to do is wake up and stretch. You don’t need to perform any crazy yoga stretches first thing in the morning just stand up and move your body.

Reach for the sky, reach for your toes, move your head side to side, you get the idea. Get the blood circulating and get your energy levels back up. While stretching to a few deep breathes. This is the perfect way to wake the body and get it ready for the day!

2. Wash Your Face/Take A Shower

I feel like a good, cold, splash to the face is rejuvenating and refreshing. I feel like my puffy eyes instantly go down and I become more awake in an instant.

A cold shower is another quick way to get those energy levels up and a great way to kick start any day! I usually shower at night but if I need an extra pep in my step I put on this watermelon shower cap and take a cold body shower. I’m more alert then ever, and I just feel good.

3. Drink A Glass Of Water

One of the first things I do every morning and put into my body every morning is I drink a glass of lukewarm water. Not cold, water needs to be warm or I would say room temperature. I have been doing this forever now. The best reason to do this is to cleanse your digestive track and to help eliminate toxins from your body.

4. Read A Devotional/Watch Or Listen To Something Motivating

This is one of the best things to do every morning to get your mind right. Reading a devotional, listening to an uplifting podcast, or watching a motivational video is a great way to gain some perspective and to motivate you. There’s nothing like feeling inspired every morning. I can’t even begin to describe the impact of doing this every morning!

5. Make A To-Do List

Making a to-do list is a great way to hold yourself a accountable on tasks you want to accomplish. Creating a to do list every morning increases productivity and did you know it even relieves stress! With life being so chaotic at times this is a great way to have some control and to remain organized.



Share your morning routine! What is it that you do every morning that gets you going?

Time to implement these habits into your life!

Brown Sugar And Butter Baked Peaches

I received the grocery store ad the other day and as I’m looking it over making my grocery store list it said it was national peach month! Say what! Who knew. So of course they had peaches for sale.

(Tips for grocery store shopping in link below)

9 Grocery Shopping Tips, For A Stress-Free Trip Every time

Without knowing it was national peach month the grocery store ad reminded me that I already had peaches!

I wouldn’t mind getting more peaches on my next trip but I needed to do something with these ones that were now sitting on my counter. So I decided to make baked peaches!

If you have peaches on hand and want a quick easy dessert let this be your go to!

It’s very simple to make and very delicious. Especially when served with vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Brown Sugar And Butter Baked Peaches

Servings 8

What you need:

4 ripe peaches

8 Tablespoons of salted butter (NOT room temperature butter)

8 tablespoons of brown sugar

1/2 tsp on cinnamon

1/4 tsp of nutmeg

Steps:

Cut peaches in half and removes pits

Place a tablespoon of butter onto each peach half

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar onto each peach half

Combine nutmeg and cinnamon and sprinkle onto peaches

Bake in the oven at 350 for 15 to 20 mins or until peaches are soft (oven times may vary)

Serve with vanilla ice cream

Enjoy with loved ones!

5 Struggles Of A Kinship Adoption

What is a kinship adoption?

A kinship adoption is an adoption of a child by an extended family member. An example would be a child’s Grandma, Grandpa or maybe an Aunt, or Uncle.

If a kinship adoption is occurring the circumstances are not typically ideal and can be very heartbreaking for many people involved.

Substance abuse is a prime example of why a kinship adoption may occur.

The great thing about a kinship adoption is the child or children remain within their family who they are usually already familiar with. Which can help with a smoother transition for the child or even other family members.

In many cases it is preferred that a child that needs to be adopted remains within family but sometimes it just cannot be done. And that’s ok. Each adoption case has a story and is different.

Having had guardianship over my niece now for over two years and legally adopting her with my husband I would like to share the struggles of a kinship adoption and maintaining an open relationship with the birth mother.

(It is entirely up to you if decide to keep an open relationship with the birth parent or parents. It’s difficult because the birth parent or parents are related to you in some way and your relationship is now impacted and will no longer be the same going forward.)

I am sharing these struggles for other people that may be in the process of adopting a family member or having to make the decision of taking a child in and gaining an idea of what to expect if you accept this responsibility.

What matters is doing the absolute best for the child.

I am sharing these struggles so YOU reading this have an idea on what to expect when adopting a child and maintaining an open relationship. I hope this will allow you prepare in some way and to go into this process aware and confident.



5 Struggles Of A Kinship Adoption

1. The Whole Family is Affected

When you take in a child within the family the whole family is affected. If the child has other siblings it can be even more of a challenge because they may not know the whole situation. Family members are hurt, upset, concerned and it takes a toll on everyone. The family members that are very affected are the ones taking the child in. It can create hardships within your own family and significant other. It can be even more difficult adapting when you have children of your own for many different reasons.

2. It’s Drama And A Whole Lot Of Emotion

The relationship with the birth parent or parents becomes very unstable. The relationship will be different and emotions will constantly be high. The birth parent or parents are more comfortable saying how they are feeling or saying very inappropriate things because they can “get away with it” because you are indeed kin. Hurtful actions and words will take place and you can’t take what is being said or done personal. Easier said then done.

3. Developing Boundaries And Ensuring EVERYONE Is On the Same Page

A birth parent or parents may have lost custody but they will expect to still be able to see their child whenever they want. They also may expect to still have a say in the raising of the child.

The child is no longer in their care. This is where you need to establish boundaries. The child was taken away for a reason and when the boundaries are set it is very important that the rest of the family respect your wishes. This is the struggle. Not everyone will be on the same page with your boundaries. You may be blind sided at times and will have to constantly remind other family members what is and what is not okay when it comes to the birth parent or parents.

4. Doing What Is Best For The Child

Other family members will share their input and it’s hard to separate those feelings and what’s really best for your child. You will want to accomadate to what they want or you will try to make everyone else happy. It’s easy to lose track of what’s best for the child because now relationships with other family members are interfering and you don’t want to upset or hurt anyone. It’s very difficult and it becomes very upsetting when other family members are upset with you when you are just trying to do what’s best for your child. They will have a difficult time seeing things from your side and perspective.

5. Not Receiving Empathy/Lack Of Support

Some family members will not take the time to really notice the struggles that you are facing or even take the time to understand how hard this has all been. Especially when it happens out of the complete blue. This is why it feels like you are going through this alone at times.

People have a hard time understanding that you made THE CHOICE to take the child and other family members will take advantage of the situation not truly realizing what your position truly entails. Especially as you move forward and as the child gets older. If you decide this or that, a family member may lash out at you because they don’t agree with a decision that you made. When really, you should be supported whether they like it or not.

The birth parent is asked about, the child is asked about, but often you won’t be asked how this is all affecting you.



With writing this my goal is to share common struggles you may face when handling an open kinship adoption and to ensure you that you are not alone.

It’s hard. I know it is.

But I also know the many amazing things that come out of a kinship adoption. Before we took in my now daughter I remember googling the pros and cons of taking in a family member because I wanted to know what to expect. I knew taking her in would be hard and would open plenty of cans of worms but I also knew it was the right thing to do.

You are doing the right thing and that child you may have now is very fortunate to be with you. YOU, are their parent. Despite the struggles you are facing and will face there is no better place they could be.

To the person or persons taking in a Child within the family:

What you are doing is brave and takes courage. I want you to know you are doing the right thing even if you feel confused and stressed right now. Taking a child without any time to prepare is extremely challenging and many others don’t know the hardship of it all.

You are not alone in how you feel, you are not alone in this process, and you are not alone with your decisions.

There will be challenges and there will be tears, however, there are many rainbows within these storms I can assure you.